Sony 14.2 Megapixels Alpha SLT A33 Review by DCI With Rating 7.6/102011-04-30 08:20 | Source
Average Camera Review Rating [7 reviews]
Cameras with Price Range $370 - $1,350
On August 23 2010, Sony announced the two new Alpha cameras - the 16.2 Megapixels α55 (model SLT-A55V) and 14.2 Megapixels α33 (model SLT-A33). These two cameras adopt Sony's newly-developed Translucent Mirror Technology, which achieves the highest-level of auto focus speed for both still image and movie shooting.
Using the new technology, the α55 and α33 models can continuously and quickly focus (with TTL phase-detection) while shooting stills and recording Full HD AVCHD video. The α55 can shoot continuously at up to 10 fps (frames per second), while α33 can shoot 7 fps. Because of its structure, the Translucent Mirror Technology does away with the motion of raising and lowering the mirror. The absence of the moving mirror mechanism contributes to making the whole body size significantly compact compared to traditional DSLR cameras.
Other features include a newly developed 15-point AF system, full-time Live View, and a fully articulated 3-inch 921,600 Xtra Fine LCD with TruBlack technology with 100 percent coverage. The α55 body will cost around $750, or $850 with the 18-55mm kit lens. The α33 body is currently selling at around $550 (drop from $630 about 3 weeks ago), or $750 with the 18-55mm kit lens. Here's the summary of review by DigitalCameraInfo, giving the camera a rating of 764:
"The Sony Alpha SLT-A33 did not blow us away in any specific area, but the camera did a passable job in all of our tests. If you're overly concerned about image performance, then there are plenty of other cameras that will please you more than the A33 (like the Sony A55V). But, we found the A33 to be a handy shooter with a good set of controls, an intuitive menu system, and some fun features to boot. The A33 will not grant you the sharpest images on the planet, nor will it even come close. The camera tops out with a 14.2 megapixel resolution, which is significantly lower than most DSLRs offer these days. We also saw quite a bit of lens distortion in our testing, as well as problems with white balance both in auto and manual modes. Like the Sony A55V before it, the A33 did an excellent job in our speed tests where it was able to shoot full-resolution images at 7 frames per second. This wasn't quite as impressive as the A55V's 10fps performance, but it was close. The benefits of Sony's translucent mirror design on the A33 really come to the forefront during video recording. The autofocus is both quick and will continue for the duration of your video recording-without the need to press or hold a button. The focus is still quite noisy, however, so we would not consider it to be as good as the focus systems you find on a regular camcorder. Besides the focus system, the A33 also did a good job in our video performance tests. Our only complaint: the camera needs more manual controls in video mode as well as a dedicated movie mode to make the interface less complicated.
Like the Sony A55V, the A33 feels solidly constructed, has a good button layout, and includes a good amount of ports and terminals (the external mic jack is a fun bonus). The articulated LCD is one of our favorite features on the camera, as it makes the A33 much easier to use with a tripod or when shooting video. Some users may not like the fact that the camera has an electronic viewfinder rather than an optical one, but that's something that comes with the turf with Sony's translucent mirror design. We like the mid-range size of the A33. The camera is large enough to look and be professional, but it is small enough to control with one hand if the situation warrants it. The right grip is strong, and its ribbed texture enables you to get a good handle on the A33. The shooting modes and features on the camera are plentiful, although we were occasionally confused by the cameras dual auto modes and lack of a dedicated video mode. Manual users should be satisfied with what the A33 has to offer, although we found some of the special modes, like 3D panorama, to be more gimmicky than anything else."
Sony SLT A33 Sample Photos on Flickr
Sony SLT A33 Camera Reviews Roundup
|Steve's Digicam: "The A33 has outstanding image quality at lower ISO speed settings, and we found that images were quite usable for most print sizes through ISO 1600, even though noise and noise reduction were starting to reduce detail at that point, with even higher ISO speeds still very usable for smaller print or viewing sizes. Given that some of the light is lost via this camera's Translucent mirror design in order the reap the b..." - Mar 30 2011 More »|
|PhotoZone: "The SLR idea has been around for ages and it's concept has never really been questioned till the EVILs came around. It's probably not surprising that an electronics company is actually going to evolve the DSLR and not one of the classic and more conservative manufacturers (although Canon offered a couple of translucent camera during the film SLR era). The Sony Alpha SLT-A33 (and A55) is a milestone for sure. Its tra..." - Mar 14 2011 More »|
|Camera Labs: "Sony's innovative use of a fixed semi-reflective mirror in the SLT-A33 was always going to have pros and cons, but on the whole it delivers a very satisfying experience which in aspects like autofocus during video, is simply leaps and bounds ahead of traditional DSLRs. Here's a camera with a large sensor and broad catalogue of lenses which really can continuously autofocus during video and deliver an experience..." - Feb 19 2011 More »|
|Photography BLOG: "The Sony A33 turns conventional design on its head to provide what is in many ways a better user experience than traditional DSLRs can achieve, at a price point that Canon and Nikon must be worried about. If you can overcome your reservations about electronic viewfinders, the Sony A33 is a great choice for both beginners and more cautious enthusiasts alike. The A33's translucent mirror and EVF open up a world o..." - Dec 08 2010 More »|